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New Leaders for New Schools: Winner's Statement

Social Capitalists

New Leaders for New Schools

New York, New York

CEO: Jonathan Schnur

Previous winner: 2004, 2005

What it does: Great schools, New Leaders for New Schools believes, are led by great principals. So it seeks to transform urban schools by selecting, training, and coaching strong leaders--many from outside the school system--to be principals in six cities. Just 6% of applicants are accepted; those "residents," as they're called, work with mentor principals for a year before running their own schools.

Results: More than two-thirds of New Leaders are placed as principals immediately after training. After two years, schools with New Leaders principals show gains of 4% to 5% in math and reading proficiency.

Social impact: A-
Aspiration and growth: A+
Entrepreneurship: A-
Innovation: B+
Sustainability: A+

Winner's Statement

New Leaders for New Schools is a national nonprofit organization with one clear mission: Promote high academic achievement for every child by attracting, preparing, and supporting the next generation of outstanding leaders for our nation's urban public schools. Founded on the relatively simple insight that great schools need great principals, New Leaders has taken that insight to broad scale across the country. Since 2000, it has grown from an initial business plan to a national movement of more than 230 results-oriented school leaders, all with an unwavering commitment to ensuring that every child reaches academic excellence and his or her full potential. To achieve this goal, New Leaders created a new pathway for dedicated and resourceful educators to become principals in high-need communities nationwide.

In partnership with high-need urban school districts, charter-school organizations, and business, philanthropic, and civic leaders, New Leaders has created intensive leadership recruitment and development programs in Chicago, Memphis, New York, Oakland, Washington, DC, and Baltimore. It prepares principals to focus on meeting the needs of every child and to be highly effective instructional leaders, managers, community leaders, and leaders of change. New Leaders aggressively recruits highly talented and motivated people to become urban school principals and provides selected individuals with three years of rigorous, hands-on professional development, including a year-long, full-time urban public school residency with a talented mentor principal and case-based coursework taught by leading education and business experts. It helps place program participants in leadership positions in urban public schools and provides them with two additional years of ongoing support and a lifelong community of peers. Today, there are more than 230 New Leaders nationally--including approximately 100 principals, 30 assistant principals, and 79 Residents--who are making an impact on 100,000 urban students. The organization is in the midst of its process to recruit and select an additional 100 outstanding, driven New Leaders this year.

Over the next decade, New Leaders' strategic growth plan aims to create direct and systemic impact as they build a corps of 2,000 school leaders affecting 1 million students annually--and by 2012, provide 25% of the new principals needed for urban public schools across America. Their ambitious but achievable goals include:

  • Direct Impact: Boost student achievement for every child in urban public schools led by New Leaders principals; and
  • Systemic Impact: Boost student achievement systemically in urban public schools and transform American public education by: (a) creating a critical mass of school leaders in our cities by 2008, with nearly 700 New Leaders principals and residents serving 300,000 students annually and (b) catalyzing broad change in school systems across the country by serving as a national model and by pioneering knowledge capture and dissemination strategies.

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The above Winner's Statement was provided by the profiled organization.